How to Shield Your Children: A Guide for Protective Parents in Custody Battles

Leaving an abusive relationship is a courageous act, but the fight for your children's safety often continues in the courtroom, especially when your co-parent is a narcissist. This battle can be overwhelming, filled with neverending documents, emails, and phone calls. While you navigate this legal landscape, here's how to shield your children from the stress and ensure their well-being remains the top priority.

Creating a Safe Space:

  • Limited Information: Children don't need the details of the abuse or the legal wrangling. In fact, the more aware they are that there is a court battle at all, the more likely you will be accused of parental alienation in court, which can be a difficult thing to overcome. Keep conversations about the case age-appropriate and brief.
  • Focus on Feelings: Acknowledge their emotions and let them know you're working hard to keep them safe. Ensure they know they are loved, but you are not responsible for stating that your co-parent loves them. That does not mean you badmouth your co-parent or insinuate that they do NOT love them--rather, you simply leave that to your ex to do for themselves. Telling a child who has suffered abuse or cruelty that that is love, can be confusing and invalidating.
  • Maintain Routine: As much as possible, stick to familiar routines and activities to provide a sense of normalcy. This will be hard as your ex, who couldn't be bothered with the children before, suddenly creates the persona of a deeply involved parent for the court to see. Check with your lawyer, but generally speaking, the court supports the children maintaining the activities and relationships they are used to.

Building a Legal Fortress:

  • Organize a System: Dedicate a specific, locked drawer or cabinet for case files. Keep digital documents in a password-protected folder. Find a way to ensure that none of this is visible or easily accessible to your children. For example, if you have spread out a lot of documentation to work on, and are unable to finish it before the kids come home, cover it with something that won't attract the children, or have a file box nearby that you can pile your documents back into in an orderly fashion that you'll recognize when you need to unpack and lay them out again. Cover the box with a lid and then pile things on top of it while your kids are home.
  • Communicate with Your Lawyer: Inform your lawyer about your desire to shield your children. Discuss ways to streamline communication and minimize the number of times you need to discuss the case at home.
  • Delegate Tasks: If possible, ask a trusted friend or family member to handle non-sensitive communication like scheduling meetings or collecting records.

Empowering Yourself:

  • Knowledge is Power: Educate yourself about the custody process. This will help you anticipate steps and manage your anxieties. We recommend using a methodology with a high success rate, like The Custody Blueprint®, to prepare your case in the best way possible given that you have a charming narcissist as your adversary.
  • Support Network: Lean on your support system – friends, family, therapists – for emotional strength and practical help. Use our template, the Four Friends You Need, to ensure you don't overwhelm any of your loved ones.
  • Self-Care: Prioritize your well-being. Take breaks, eat healthfully, and get enough sleep. A strong parent is a better advocate for their children, and the court professionals will be able to see that. It may seem less important than focusing on your case documentation. It's not.


  • You Are Not Alone: There are many resources available for protective mothers facing custody battles. Consider contacting domestic violence organizations or legal aid organizations for support. Set up a team for your legal matters: a lawyer, a therapist, a coach or consultant, a child therapist, a DV advocate.
  • Focus on the Outcome: Remind yourself that all this extremely difficult work is to secure a safe and nurturing future for your children.

This journey will possibly be the most challenging of your life, but your unwavering love and determination will guide you. By prioritizing your children's well-being and taking proactive steps, you can shield them from unnecessary stress while building a strong case for their future.

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This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or therapeutic advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for personalized guidance specific to your situation.

The content on this page may address sensitive topics that could be triggering for some readers. Please proceed with caution and prioritize your own well-being. If you find any content distressing, please seek support from a trusted individual or mental health professional.

The Custody Blueprint® 2024

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent our programs and the educational value they provide; however, we cannot guarantee specific outcomes or predict the court's decisions. Any success stories shared on our website and other platforms reflect our current success rate but are not every client’s experience. We advise against relying solely on such information as a promise or guarantee of your own success. Your individual results will depend on various factors beyond our control, including your personal circumstances, efforts, skills, and fulfilling the program on time. Operating within the realm of custody battles entails inherent risks, and any actions you take based on the information provided are at your own discretion and risk. Our content is provided without warranties. By continuing to engage with our offerings, you acknowledge that we cannot be held responsible for the decisions you make or the outcomes you experience. Any claims of actual results are available for verification upon request.